tracing cellphones/internet connections?
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Thread: tracing cellphones/internet connections?

  1. #1
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    tracing cellphones/internet connections?

    i just watched "the net" with sandra bullock and throughout the movie she is frequently being traced on cell phones, internet connections, etc. some things in the movie seemed pretty authentic, at one point she covers her tracks at one point by connecting through a chain of other servers. so, i was wondering:

    1. how quickly can an internet connection be traced to an address(in the movie it was about 10 seconds)? and what's the general process to trace them? is the only way to figure out what isp it belongs to and then ask them?

    2. with cell phones, i've heard of being able to tell the general area of where somebody is based on what cell they're in, but in the movie they were like sending "pulses" to her phone in real time and were able to tell her location down to a couple of feet. is that realisitc?

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    If you run a Google on the subject you will see that a bill was passed in the US to mandate that all cell companies must be able to locate anyone making a 911 call.
    You will also see that many cell phones now have GPS chips embedded in them which will certainly give the "powers" the ability to track the phone down to a few feet.
    Time flies like an arrow - fruit flies like a banana

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    what about tracing someone by their internet connection? is there a way to instantaneously(or very quickly) resolve an ip to a house address?(like in the movie) or would you have to figure out the isp(based on their ip) and contact the isp to request the info. the isp shouldnt just give this out to anybody right, only police? how can people tell what country you're in, etc. based on ur ip?

  4. #4
    First off: The movie sucks !

    Second: You can trace an IP but you'll most likely get the ISP's address since the connection goes through them, if you contact them they're not gonna you anybody address, they can give the police the address in an instant since they have all your personal info and they're the ones assigning you an IP in the first place.
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  5. #5
    yeah..i agree..the movie sucks!

  6. #6
    They call me the Hunted foxyloxley's Avatar
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    Cell phones are just like carrying a BIG 'Over Here' flag on your head.

    Before the call is processed the position of said phone is known to within a few yards,
    Signal is 'seen' by at least two, and more often, three cell masts.
    Each cell will have a strength of signal and direction, triangulation / trig and you are nailed.

    Bad boys NEVER allow you to CARRY, let alone use, a cell phone within their presence.

    Films MAY be an over dramatised version, but they are [nearly] always based on empirical fact.

    Even Star Trek had at its root, a strong link to the 'real' world of science and physics, in that everything they showed or used, was based at least on a theory that was current at time of production.

    For those of us old enough to remember 'Flash Gordon'...........
    When he used to say :
    "pass the ray gun" a small item, that could feasibly be a ray gun was passed across.
    "pass the anti-gravity belt" again. an item was strapped in place that could be an anti-grav device.
    However; when he called for the 'portable radio', he was given something the size of a desk, as at that time, radios WERE huge things, and the mind set of the day was incapable of seeing into the future re:- actual devices.

    So, remember, the films ARE make believe. BUT they are based on an idea from some time soon.

    Damn it but I ramble on at times............... time for ANOTHER

    [edit] book - fiction - title forgotton :Oops:
    to thwart criminal actions, cell phones were disabled during terrorist activity, access was by dialing an additional code number into the phone first. This had the effect of stopping said terrorists communications, yet still allowing the forces of law and order to operate............

    How long before this is implemented as a matter of course during trouble as 'small' as soccer violence / riots / flying pickets [UK scenario]

    Damn it, but those glasses are getting SMALLER..........

    :hic:
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  7. #7
    Member gn0min0mic0n's Avatar
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    An interesting mixture: how about those PC cards from Sprint, etc that allow internet access anywhere on their cell network? Could these be as easily traceable as cell phones, or would this be more like war-driving, dropping/re-establishing the connection every so often as one moves from one location to another....Hmmm.

    EDIT: I think 'The Net' was a cool movie, but only because I wasn't into computers when it was produced, so it seems kinda neat, the "good ole days", I guess....and let's not forget 'Hackers'..."Wow! A 28.8K modem! VGA graphics!" lol

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    The other problem with tracing IP addresses is that if the person is up to no good, then they are probably operating from a compromised computer and not their own. In this case it is almost impossible to track them back to their actual location.
    Time flies like an arrow - fruit flies like a banana

  9. #9
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    1. how quickly can an internet connection be traced to an address(in the movie it was about 10 seconds)? and what's the general process to trace them? is the only way to figure out what isp it belongs to and then ask them?
    Basically yes.............you connect to your ISP and through them to somewhere else. Your ISP will know where you are connecting from and will have your account details.

    Now, a lot will depend upon:

    1. The time of day............ISPs don't staff to answer trace requests in the middle of the night. What I am saying that a trace in real time is not so easy unless you have set the mechanism up beforehand.
    2. You democracy and laws...........try getting a warrant from a magistrate at 03.00 Hrs
    3. Your type of connection. A static IP is easier to trace than a dynamic one. Wireless connections only point to the location.........who are you? where (exactly) are you?...........not so easy.
    4. Are proxy servers being used? I have some software called Steganos Anonymiser...........I connect to my ISP then launch this. It connects using a list of public proxy servers across the Globe literally! 60 seconds from Canada, 60 seconds from South Africa, 60 seconds from Japan, and so on.

    Try tracing that ............sure you could, but NOT in real time...........think of the diplomatic channels you would have to go through?

    Please remember that over here we have a number of free ISPs, they do not really care who you are or where you live. They get paid a percentage by the Telcos, for the connection time from anywhere in the UK...........so it would be easy to create a totally bogus account.

    So, I have my fake ISP account. I infiltrate some office or factory, find an unused phone and divert the calls from it to my ISP. I call that phone, use my Anonymizer and away I go.

    Sure, it can be traced, but it will take a fair bit of sifting through logs.............not a real time event IMHO.

    Please don't try any of this stuff, it is a fact of life that if you behave furtively, you will be assumed to be a criminal

  10. #10
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    what if ur connecting to your isp from a hotel or something? does the isp know where its connection going to or does it only know that that account is registered to a certain address?

    also, with cell phones, only the cell phone provider would know your location and people would have to find out from them, right? people cant just make a phone call or something to you and be able to track your location right?(they were doing that in the movie)

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